New Qantas uniforms on show at Sydney, Melbourne lounges

New Qantas uniforms on show at Sydney, Melbourne lounges

Some 12,000-odd Qantas staff will slip into the airline's chic new uniform this Thursday, December 12, but visitors to the airline's Sydney and Melbourne lounges can catch a sneak preview of the stylish threads.

The team at the Sydney and Melbourne Qantas Club and Qantas Business Lounges have already upgraded to the new uniforms as part of Accor's taking over management of these lounges.

Accor already manages Qantas' international lounges in Australia, along with the Qantas Singapore Lounge, and will also take the new Qantas Hong Kong Lounge under its wing when that opens in March 2014.

Qantas unveilled the new look in April this year, with designer Martin Grant predictably ditching the Aboriginal prints of the current kit in favour of clean European-inspired cuts based on a dusky French navy incorporating elements of 'Qantas red' with the odd playful fuchsia pink highlight.

Georges Antony
35 individual pieces make up the new Qantas look
Georges Antony

“I didn't try and push it to a specifically Australian aesthetic” Grant explained. “I thought we already have Qantas being Australian – that is almost enough.”

As the cornerstone of his design, Grant says “I kept coming back to Qantas and the Qantas logo and the image that we all have of Qantas, which is the red triangle, the tail of the aircraft with the flying kangaroo."

“For me, if not the best airline logo, it is one of the strongest international logos. When you see it in the international ports it has a very strong impact."

The total wardrobe comprises some 35 individual garments, including a trilby-style cap and trenchcoat intended for off-the-plane wear which will serve to promote Qantas brand in and around airports – even to travellers who aren't flying with the Red Roo.

Georges Antony
The hat and trenchcoat are certain to divide public opinion!
Georges Antony

The trenchcoats sport a fold-down lapel which reveals a flash of red and a small version of the iconic Qantas kangaroo, neatly mirroring the 'red triangle' brandmark and the tail of a Qantas jet.

Mark Sherborne, Qantas
No, this isn't the athletes' parade at the Olympic Games opening ceremony...
Mark Sherborne, Qantas

Real-world guidance on Grant's design came through the Qantas Uniform Panel, a group of 12 representatives from each of Qantas' customer-facing uniformed departments including cabin crew and ground employees who provided feedback on functionality and wearability of the uniform throughout the design process.

Mark Sherborne/Qantas
Ruby red and fuchsia pink offer eye-catching highlights against the French navy base
Mark Sherborne/Qantas

Underneath the trenchcoat, the blokes of Qantas wear a single-breasted, single-buttoned structured jacket and a V-neck knit vest.

Mark Sherborne/Qantas
... but no pink for the boys, who stay in the red & navy comfort zone
Mark Sherborne/Qantas

Here's supermodel Miranda Kerr sporting one of the cabin uniforms...

Mark Sherborne/Qantas
Miranda Kerr rocks the Red Roo's new look
Mark Sherborne/Qantas

... alongside designer Martin Grant.

Mark Sherborne, Qantas
Miranda Kerr shows how great a uniform can look
Mark Sherborne, Qantas

This video shot by Qantas captures the 'fashion show' launch of the uniform's debut.


A blast from the past...

Take a stroll down memory lane with this gallery of Qantas uniforms over the decades, beginning with the soon-to-be-retired kit.

Introduced in 2003 and refreshed in 2008, it was created by Australian fashion designer Peter Morrissey (below, centre).

Those sharp black threads are a long way from this groovy look of the mid-70s through to the mid-80s:

After all, nothing says 'premium airline' like an orange jacket with a mustard-yellow shirt and striped brown tie!

Today's frequent flyers may be more likely to recall trips with Qantas staff decked out in these blue (and rather British-looking) uniforms of 1985-1993...

... and will certainly be familiar with the duskier navy tones through to 2003.

Here's what hosties were wearing in the early '70s – back in those days when we could call them hosties.

All those uniforms plus a red mini from the late 60s come together in this shot of Qantas uniforms from past to present.

Click here for a slideshow of Qantas uniforms from 1948 to today – and if you're really into the in-flight fashion, visit the very detailed if oddly unsettling (and thus, perhaps appropriately-named) UniformFreak site featuring "1,142 different stewardess uniforms from 433 airlines."

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • spudseamus


    6 Dec, 2013 03:54 pm

    One step away from " life is a cabaret ' ol chum" 

    No member give thanks

  • JBH


    6 Dec, 2013 04:08 pm

    Its something about the pink that just doesn't fit for me. 

    No member give thanks

  • mb68


    6 Dec, 2013 04:11 pm

    I will be the first to say it .. Can they afford this ?

    No member give thanks

  • undertheradar


    6 Dec, 2013 04:28 pm


    No member give thanks

  • johnaboxall


    6 Dec, 2013 04:16 pm

    If Miranda Kerr was a FA then I'd start flying QF again. 

    No member give thanks

  • Alvin Tse


    6 Dec, 2013 09:05 pm

    She's too busy modeling for Colorado Group Ltd. (or whatever she models for).

    No member give thanks

  • driley28


    6 Dec, 2013 11:21 pm

    Food at the Melbourne Biz Lounge is greatly improved since Accor have taken over.

    No member give thanks



    7 Dec, 2013 03:54 pm

    Er, if QF is losing so many $100s millions why spend (waste?) money on non essentials?

    Oh, yes, it's an excuse for more vacuous PR.

    No member give thanks

  • Jono


    9 Dec, 2013 05:01 pm

    Yep, I'm with you Platy.

    Looks like QF has just found another, allbeit picturesque method of shuffeling the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    No member give thanks


22 Jul, 2019 10:57 pm


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